Everything for Electronics

Microcontrollers

10 Awesome Raspberry Pi HATs You Need to Try

Whether you’re building your own electronic drum kit or measuring distance with a 3D scanner, a HAT can give your Raspberry Pi exactly the functionality you need.

Build the MIDI Replay Stomp Box

The MIDI Replay stomp box is a powerful configuration and recording device for keyboard players, based on the wonderful MIDI protocol: the standard musical language of over 30 years. 

This article explores the design challenges of this real-time system and covers topics such as task scheduling, buffers, parallel computing, dynamic memory management, response time analysis and menu system design.

Build a Customizable Musical Doorbell

When my wife and I moved into our current home a few years back, it didn’t have a doorbell. We live on a quiet cul-de-sac, so it really wasn’t a problem as we had few callers. After a while, I installed a wireless doorbell that lasted about three years. Recently, after writing the series of articles on “A Digital Analog — When a PIC Can Replace a 555,” I decided to make one using a PIC.

Replacing The 555 With A PIC — Part 5 — A Digital Analog

This final article in our series will examine those circuits from the “555 Timer IC Circuits” by Forrest Mims which were not covered in any of the preceding four articles.

Build Your Own Funky STEAMPUNK Display

I use LCD displays in almost every project. However, in this modern age of steampunk, I stumbled on something much cooler — 1” high seven-segment electromechanical displays (EMDs) that go clickity, click. Here is an ambitious project that features five 1941 vintage rotary phone step-by-step (SXS) switches. These EMDs are the perfect match to display the dialed digits.

Build A MIDI Lyre

When you think of MIDI controllers, you probably think of a keyboard. However, there are many reasons to have MIDI controllers in other form factors (guitars, saxophones, flute/clarinets, and even trumpets for example), not the least of which is fun! In this article, we will make a MIDI lyre version. Also, the techniques presented here will allow you to create your own touch sensitive MIDI controllers in any form factor you can imagine.

Build a Musical Laser Rainbow Machine

I’ve been searching for a way to give our band’s performances the kind of visual elements that can only otherwise be achieved by true lighting artists. As a musician, inventor, and laser enthusiast, I decided to draw on all my hobbies and have created a light machine that has unique responses to each tone, frequency, and beat.

Build an Analog-Style LED Clock — Part 1

Driving LEDs using the lowest possible pin-count is a common challenge for folks creating projects with microcontrollers. Complementary LED drive, also known as “Charlieplexing”, allows a large number of LEDs to be controlled with a relatively small number of I/O pins.  This fun digital LED clock project is a hands-on example of how Charlieplexing can be used to stretch your “pin budget”!

Enhance Your Debugging Tool Suite

Debugging microcontroller designs can be difficult due to resource limitations that block or curtail access to real time information internally and externally. In this article, I’ll demonstrate both a multiplexed bus protocol analyzer and the 1-Wire Manchester decoder. Combining these logic analyzer decoders with an embedded software Manchester encoder forms a great tool to enhance your debugging and diagnostic skills.

Replacing The 555 With A PIC — Part 4 — A Digital Analog

This fourth installment will examine the more complex circuits from the book, “555 Timer IC Circuits” by Forrest Mims. Some will use the PIC replacement from Part 1, while others will develop specific programs using a PIC to emulate a particular implementation of a 555.